Reforms Will Help the Public to Exercise their Constitutional Rights
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today made it easier for the public to meaningfully engage with the agency and request regulatory changes. Starting today, members of the public can submit petitions for rulemaking directly to the CFPB. The petitions will be posted on public dockets for review and comment.
”Americans should be able to easily exercise their Constitutional rights without hiring a high-priced lawyer or lobbyist,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Our new program will broaden access to the agency’s rulemaking process.”
The U.S. Constitution guarantees the public’s right to petition the government. While members of the public have long had the ability to comment on rules and other initiatives, many individuals and small businesses believe that they must hire former government officials, lawyers, or lobbyists in order to be heard by an agency.
The reforms announced today will make it easier for individuals to directly submit a petition for rulemaking to the CFPB. Members of the public can request that the agency pursue a new rule, amend an existing one, or repeal a rule. Former government employees and other individuals who are paid to influence the agency’s rulemaking agenda behind the scenes will be asked to submit their petition for public inspection instead.
The CFPB is committed to transparency and listening to the concerns, suggestions, and ideas of the public it serves. The public’s petitions will help the CFPB identify consumer protection issues worthy of reform, rulemaking, or in need of further clarification.
The new process is in line with recommendations issued by the Administrative Conference of the United States for improving transparency and ensuring that the public has a meaningful opportunity to petition the government. Today’s announcement is part of a series of steps the CFPB is taking to ensure high standards of transparency and ethics, particularly when it comes to addressing the corrosive effects of the “revolving door.” The CFPB recently announced new staff guidance to report former government employees that may be misusing information they obtained while working in the government.
Consumer complaints about specific financial products or services should be submitted through the CFPB’s complaint website.